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Old 06-14-2016, 11:47 AM   #1
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Help me buy a used DP!

The DW and I really enjoy RVing our first year with our cheap, used 90 gas Bounder, but the need to go a couple hours out of our way to avoid West Virginia and our future plans to go out west means we need something that should make things more comfortable and relaxing for me (as head mechanic and driver).

Iím thinking that spending around $35 to 45k I can get a DP from around 2000 made by Newmar or Tiffin that should have held up well. Does this sound reasonable? Do you think looking at the higher end brands from 16 years ago or does it really come down to care and maintenance after 10 years?
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckyBounder View Post
The DW and I really enjoy RVing our first year with our cheap, used 90 gas Bounder, but the need to go a couple hours out of our way to avoid West Virginia and our future plans to go out west means we need something that should make things more comfortable and relaxing for me (as head mechanic and driver).

Iím thinking that spending around $35 to 45k I can get a DP from around 2000 made by Newmar or Tiffin that should have held up well. Does this sound reasonable? Do you think looking at the higher end brands from 16 years ago or does it really come down to care and maintenance after 10 years?
We made a similar switch in 2005 when we traded a '97 gasser for a 2002 DP. 8 years later traded the 02 for a higher end used 2007 DP. No regrets. We've traveled out West four times and the power, ride, handling, comfort, weight carrying capacity of the DP's was always appreciated.

The key IMO is to figure out what floor plan and other amenities work best for you and look carefully for a coach that checks as many of your checklist boxes as possible within your budget. Regardless of what you buy, there are always risks with buying a used coach, especially ones with age. I do believe if you focus on the higher end brands, you improve your chances of getting one with good bones. I would personally expand your list to include Country Coach, Travel Supreme, Monaco (the higher end models), Beaver, Foretravel.....maybe others I've missed. While any coach built 15 or so years ago with likely have dated interiors, electronics, etc., the higher end units will most likely be more solidly built. I have talked to owners of, for example, Country Coaches made in the mid to late 1990's who have been very satisfied with the fit, finish and overall quality of their rigs. I've seen many of these (and other high end old coaches) in our travels and they look great.

The most important thing to verify is that proper maintenance has been done. Even the most expensive, high end coach can be worthless if it has not had proper maintenance and care.

Take your time with your search and enjoy the adventure.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the Info.

Any opinions about whether having the kitchen (Range/Sink) on the slide is problem?
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:41 PM   #4
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While age is not as important as how well it has been serviced and the care that has given to it. Remember that as coaches get older the parts availability decreases.

My kitchen is on a slide and I have no problems with it.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:32 PM   #5
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My kitchen is on a slide and no issues. The fridge, however, remains fixed.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:37 PM   #6
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Just my opinion, but I would not want a coach with the kitchen on a slide. My thinking is that having all of the electrical cables and wires, water and gas plumbing, and air conditioning ducts moving when the slide is moved in and out is just asking for big trouble. JMHO
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckyBounder View Post
The DW and I really enjoy RVing our first year with our cheap, used 90 gas Bounder, but the need to go a couple hours out of our way to avoid West Virginia and our future plans to go out west means we need something that should make things more comfortable and relaxing for me (as head mechanic and driver).

Iím thinking that spending around $35 to 45k I can get a DP from around 2000 made by Newmar or Tiffin that should have held up well. Does this sound reasonable? Do you think looking at the higher end brands from 16 years ago or does it really come down to care and maintenance after 10 years?
My Travel Supreme is 14yrs old, bought it about 2ish years ago.

I would agree that the level of care the rig has received will matter. Our coach was never stored indoors but it was properly cared for so the outside wasn't in bad shape.

While I've had no major issues, it has been a long string of "little things". The first thing I had to do was reseal everything on the roof. Replaced a ton of random light bulbs that weren't working, and get the fridge working on propane. I've had to service the hydraulic system (on the Cummins ISC motors from that era the hydraulic system runs the power steering and cooling fan) and replace the control valves to get the cooling fan and steering working right. Beyond that most of the work I've done to my coach has been updates to the electronics and other creature comforts.

This is where one of the big differences between DPs of that era and gassers comes into play. The DPs were often built to be lived in, while the gassers were usually built to be vacationed in. During our hunt for a new coach all of the gassers showed more wear than the DPs. Oftentimes even pointing out in the owners manual that they weren't intended for full time living. When we got over the mental hurdle of the DP concept we were quite surprised at the differences. When we walked into our rig it just felt "solid". It didn't have the "flash" of the gas units we'd been looking at, but it just felt a step above in overall quality.

As smlranger pointed out, the interiors aren't going to be as flashy or modern as what you could get in a newer gas coach, and the electronics are going to be dated, considerably. Fortunately however wireless technology has moved to the point where updating electronics isn't that big of a deal. Some coach manufacturers were using some rather funky colors back then, but others stuck to more traditional, residential stylings. It's part of what we loved about our TS when we bought it. No green carpet, pink flowery couch, teal paisley upholstered window valances or aquamarine countertops. Just beige carpet, cream tile, grey counters, brown leather and oak.

Four things to think about when assessing the condition of the coach.

One, have a competent diesel/commercial vehicle technician go over the chassis and engine. I checked my coach over myself, but if I'd have known better I'd have known that not being able to hear the cooling fan from the drivers seat while pulling away in first gear was a bad sign. It turned out the priority cartridge in the hydraulic system was sticking, reducing the efficiency of both the cooling system and power steering.

Two, run everything in the coach, both on shore power and generator power to make sure it works. Electric, water, gas. Power up the generator, and leave it running on your test drive too to ensure it won't cut off as soon as you get moving. When we checked out our coach we noticed right away that the transfer switch didn't work. We also noticed that the fridge wouldn't run on propane. Two simple and straightforward fixes. Meanwhile we were camping recently next to a couple who had just purchased their first coach. It had multiple water leaks in the roof, as well as several plumbing leaks, one of which was their toilet leaking onto the floor at the base and over to the hall carpet. Ugh.

Three, make sure to thoroughly check the condition of the house. Make sure you don't have a windshield that's about to pop out, seams coming apart, rusted frame, cracked fiberglass, leaking or sagging areas of the roof (or large cracks in the rubber if it's a rubber roof). Check the awnings to make sure they are in good shape, and that you know how to operate them. Check the slide out toppers too. Test all the lights to see that they work and make sure you operate the levelers to ensure there are no issues there either.

Four, carefully consider what changed and upgrades you'll want to make and whether you'll be paying to have them done or doing them yourself. It can get pricey. In the past year I've spent about 10k in upgrades on my coach and plan on putting about that much in it again this year. It seems like a lot but when I look at what it would cost to get a coach whose built quality is as good as what I have, and then to have all the options I want, I still can't come close to what I want for what I've got in my coach now.

All of which is a long winded way of saying "yeah" you can do just fine with an older DP, just be careful in your search and take your time. Educate yourself on the brands you're interested in to learn their quirks going in as well, so you don't get any unexpected, costly surprises.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the Info.

Any opinions about whether having the kitchen (Range/Sink) on the slide is problem?
Our '02 Dutch Star had the galley in a slide, after 13 years we had it we never had a problem with it. Newmar used a brass, swivel fitting in the drain that worked very well. The water lines all had enough slack and room to move so they were no problem either.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:49 PM   #9
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My kitchen is on a slide, really interesting how they do it, the forward furnace is also on that slide with its gas line. I'm more worried about the furnace on the slide than I am about the kitchen on the slide.


We bought a repo'd 2006 40DP in Sep 2015. Got really lucky as it was consigned to an RV dealership run by morons who listed this coach with 150,000 miles - it had 15,000 miles, that last digit is a decimal. it was actuall younger than that, entering service in Apr 2008. The bank was facing their second winter with this repo, asking 90k. We offered 52k as is, they took it without even countering. Bought the zero deductible extended warranty for another 5k. Love it!
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:29 PM   #10
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Galley in the slide has not presented any issues on our vintage Eagle. Reefer is not on the slide which I think is a smart design.

I would look at older flagships of their manufacturer and add American Coach to your list.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:36 PM   #11
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As long as you have enough slack in the water supply lines and drain lines, shouldn't be an issue having the kitchen in the slide.

The kitchen in my Dutch Star is not in the slide. Have a minor issue right now due to a previous repair by a previous owner. Easy fix with some SharkBite fittings and a small length of pex piping.

Agree with the previous advice as to researching floor plans and finding what works and doesn't work for you.

Newmar is a good choice (I am a tad biased.) American Coach and Tiffin are also good choices as well.

Deals are out there. Our 2001 was a little over your projected budget amount. Part of the reason why was the coach only had 26,XXX miles. It isn't even broken in good yet.

Happy hunting.
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:35 AM   #12
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Just my opinion, but I would not want a coach with the kitchen on a slide. My thinking is that having all of the electrical cables and wires, water and gas plumbing, and air conditioning ducts moving when the slide is moved in and out is just asking for big trouble. JMHO
That was my thinking as well, but without any proof. I'm guessing the risk is small and there are other things to worry about before this, so I won't rule one out because of it.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:55 AM   #13
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IMO the issue of how well a galley slide performs is another reason to look for one of the higher end, well built coaches. While I remove a kitchen drawer and take a peek at the wire bundle/water supply/sink drain line that moves with our galley slide for an annual inspection, it always looks fine. How the builder routes and protects those lines is the key.

Bottom line, there are plenty of coaches with galley slides without issues.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:08 AM   #14
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Monaco line up?

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... Monaco (the higher end models), ...
In the Monaco lineup are Diplomat, Dynasty, and Windsor on the upper-end? Or is it all of the diesel based Monaco's?
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